The Broome Animal Sanctuary will be getting a little bigger.
At their August meeting, Schoharie County supervisors agreed to sell what was once a trailer graveyard along Route 145 in the Town of Broome to Tony Frier and Gregory Gude, whose sanctuary for farm animals is located across the road.
The 16.5 acre parcel is assessed at $24,000; Mr. Frier and Mr. Gude offered to buy it for $25,500 as a way to expand their facility—likely a lot more than the county would ever receive for it at auction, said Treasurer Bill Cherry, who asked supervisors to approve the sale.
The county foreclosed on the property for non-payment of taxes from prior owner Robert Kearney in 2001.
Mr. Cherry reminded supervisors that the site gained a lot of notoriety and negative publicity in the 1990s, when Mr. Kearney allowed it to be used as a dumping ground for old, partially dismantled mobile homes and trailers.
Once the county took over ownership of the property, Mr. Cherry said, the trailers were removed and the site was cleaned up in hopes of DEC or the Schoharie County Conservation Association establishing an access site there—but that never happened.
In his proposal, made in June, Mr. Frier said the new property would create more jobs—the sanctuary currently has two part-time employees—and let them develop an intern program with local schools and colleges; expand the grazing portion of their sanctuary; provide a venue for their annual vegan festival, make the sanctuary a point of interest in the county, and preserve and conserve the integrity of the property.
“…given the existing wetlands, streambed, and floodplain issues,” Mr. Cherry wrote, “as treasurer, I recommend that the Board of Supervisors agree to this purchase offer.
“If the parcel were to be included in some future public auction…I would expect the sales price to be significantly lower…”